If you pay close attention during the closing credits of Pixar’s Soul, you’ll spot one name that may come as something of a surprise: Ryan Coogler. The director of Black Panther and Creed was never announced as part of the creative team for this film, so what did he do to earn a “special thanks” credit in Pixar’s newest movie? We spoke with the filmmakers behind the movie and asked them that very question, and they explained the Ryan Coogler Soul connection. Learn the answer below.

This kind of thing happens frequently on big Hollywood productions. In fact, Coogler himself once asked Donald Glover for some help punching up the Black Panther script, leading to a great moment for Letitia Wright’s Suri.

Coogler is still attached to write and direct Black Panther 2 for Marvel Studios, a project which just suffered a devastating loss with the death of star Chadwick Boseman. “I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see,” Coogler wrote in his moving tribute to the late actor.

During the time that Soul was going through production, Coogler also did a rewrite on Space Jam 2, Warner Bros.’ long-awaited sequel which stars LeBron James and also has Coogler on board as a producer.

So there you have it: the Ryan Coogler Soul mystery has been solved. Soul arrives on Disney+ on December 25, 2020.

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